More than just noise

Is Silent Hill 2 really nine years old now? Replaying it for what must be the dozenth time, it certainly doesn’t look as if it’s aged much. Sure, there are those few factors that transcend mere age: there’s a bit of preschool-teacher-style over-enunciating in the voice acting, and the translation isn’t great (“Pyramid Head”, really?). But that these low points are so heavily outweighed by the series’ redefining of interactive narrative, that so many people genuinely feel for this game, says something about its importance in the modern history of game design.

I’ve written about Silent Hill at length three or four times, now. It’s one of the most difficult games series for me to write about, but at the same time, it’s also immensely rewarding, especially when accompanied by another playthrough. An interesting Monthly Musing topic over at Destructoid had me re-examining the game in light of its music and sound design. An area typically underestimated in games, Silent Hill 2 is a smart example of how much a game’s aural elements can matter. The internet is already rife with SH2 deconstructions, but I like to think I brought to light some points not heavily considered before. Have a read, and tell me what you think!

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